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IntGrnatlonal Animated Film 



THE jounm of the BRITISH TM mm 


Edgar Anstey (Chairman of Council) 

John Bryan, Mary Field, o.b.e., Anthony Havelock-Allan, Vivienne Knight, 
Roger Manvell, Paul Rotha, Mrs. P. J. Steele 

Executive Editor: Roger Manvell - Associate Editor: Mrs. P. J. Steele 

The Editorial Board is very grateful to John Halas for undertaking the Editorship of this special issue 
of the Academy Journal, and lo the many companies and individuals who have supplied stills. 



The International Animated Film john halas 

Great Britain john huntley 


France jean image 


Canada guy l. cote 

Poland wlodzimierz haupe 

Czechoslovakia jaroslav broz 

Book Review Adrian jeakins 

Opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of the Academy. 

The copyright of articles and other material published in the Journal remains with the Academy. 
We will be grateful, therefore, if anyone wishing to enquire about the right to reprint any items 
would write to the Director of the British Film Academy. 

The Academy Council gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Kodak, Ltd. for placing funds 
at their disposal to cover the costs of this issue of the British Film Academy Journal. 

Published by 




THE MAIN PART of this JOURNAL is entirely devoted to the animated 
film in all its many forms and purposes — cartoon and puppet, entertainment 
and instruction, propa^nda and advertising. In several countries for different 

purposes the animated film has been developed in recent years on a scale that 
makes it an important, if separate, branch of production — with its own prob- 
lems of artistry, technique and studio organisation. The Editorial Board of the 
JOURNAL is grateful to John Halas for undertaking the editorship of this 
issue, which we hope will serve as a useful introduction to the International 
Festival of Animated Films which he is organising early in 1957 in London at 
the National Film Theatre in association with the British Film Institute. 



THE significant factor about the film industry 
during the past few years is the sudden 
revolution in cinema presentation. Whilst 
great battles raged over the shapes of cinema 

screens, from Cinerama and Cinemascope 
to Cinemiracle, another revolution has talcen 
place. But this has passed practically 
unnoticed. No headlines, no posters to 
publicise this event. It is the incredible 
expansion of the animation film industry all 
over the world. 

The growth of animation output on a world 
wide basis is, indeed, spectacular. In Western 
Europe and in North America, production 
has increased several times over the 1950 
output, whilst, east of Germany, new centres 
of production have emerged, particularly in 
Poland, Rumania and even as far afield as 
China. In England, too, output has risen 
threefold in the last few years, with an increase 
of personnel from 150 to over 400 artists. 

This expansion is comparable to the sudden 
growth of live-action production during the 
period of 1922 to 1926. An interesting factor 
about this expansion is that it has taken 

place at a time when the world output of 
live-action has gradually decreased. It must, 
however, be realised that, even with the 

present expansion, animation forms only a 
small part in the total structure of the film 
industry, although creatively a vital one. 

The reason for the increased demand is not 
entirely the new opportunities Television has 
created for this medium. Television has 
helped only cartoonists in the Western 
countries; in the East other influences are 
apparent. For instance, in Czechoslovakia, 
Poland and China animated cartoons and 
puppet films are fostered as national arts and, 
as a result, such productions enjoy direct state 
sponsorship in the same way as our Old Vic 
Theatre. Similarly, animation in Russia is 


integrated into the national film programme, 
and plays quite a considerable part in 
providing entertainment for the younger 
generation. The Moscow cartoon film studio 
now numbers 550 artists and, as in other 
eastern countries, the cartoon industry is still 
in the process of expansion to provide more 
and a wider variety of entertainment films. 
Oft the other hand, here and further west, 
animated film production for theatrical 
entertainment has, if anything, receded. 
Against this, new avenues have opened up for 
animation, in the form of industrial sponsor- 
ship — sponsorship through international 
authorities for informational cartoons, adver- 
tising films for cinemas and Television, and 
entertainment programme films for Television. 
These new sources of work have attracted 
some of the leading artists previously engaged 
on theatrical films, as well as quite a few 
talented artists from outside the film industry. 
However, it must be realised that, here in the 
West, the revenue from cinema cartoons has 
dropped so drastically due to the reluctance 
of the cinemas to raise the rentals even above 
pre-war level, that it is becoming impossible 
to recoup the high cost of production. 
Animation therefore depends increasingly 
on the other sources of sponsorship. The fact 
that an expansion is in progress proves how 
much the public enjoys and appreciates this 

The medium of animation at its best can be 
an important factor both in the creative 
cinema and in graphic art. In such categories, 
the quantitative expansion of large footages 
turned out in many countries matters little. 
The inquiring mind of an experimentalist 
or an uncompromising attitude of an artist 
with his pencil matters more than large output. 
The spirit of experimentalism against heavy 
odds is typical of this medium, but, on the 
other hand, it is significant to notice that the 
masters of this medium are possibly the last 

remnants of guild art craftsmen remaining in 
our century. 

The elements of an animated picture — 
story, movement, time, colour, design, tex- 
ture, sound and free imagination — are ap- 
parent in different territories to widely 
varying extents. For instance, we are 
accustomed to expect excellent timing, expert 
animation and sufficient imagination, mainly 
in comic-strip technique, from the U.S.A., but 
it is a pleasant surprise if such values are 
noticeable in films made in Czechoslovakia 
and Japan. Accually, the teclinicai supremacy 
of American cartoons no longer exists. We 
notice in the last few years the incredible 
technical advancement and perfection of the 
P.ussian cartoons, and regret bitterly the 
conspicuous absence of up-to-date design and 
the lack of free imagination. In this respect, 
the Russian cartoon is not unlike the average 
Hollywood animal cartoon product, but with 
a slower timing to suit the local audience. On 
the other hand, we notice that films arriving 
from Canada contain the ingredients of the 
best design and wonderful texture, indicating 
a progressively free spirit amongst the 
creators. Films from China reveal good 
intentions in an endeavour to use imaginative 
fantasy, but, as yet, the technical skill is 
lacking. The opportunity is there, if not the 
experience. On the other hand, in France 
experience is more readily available than the 
opportunity to make theatrical cartoons, and 
we notice that the best efforts are achieved by 
courageous, individual animators whose work 
excels more in the category of pictorial values 
than in good story telling. 

From broad perspective, it is encouraging 

to see this medium becoming so much an 
integral part of national film activity in so 
many countries. So far, however, the public 
has only had the cMnce to see American 
cartoons, due to their octopus-like world 


distribution. The first international animated 
film festival in Britain which will take place 
at the National Film Theatre during February 
and March 1957 will try to show how wide the 
production of animated films has spread 
throughout the world. 

The process of making cartoon films is 
closely confined over an animation desk, and 
therefore it is not a habit among cartoonists 
to work over each other's shoulders. There 
is thus little chance of personally inter- 
changing ideas and methods, in spite of the 
fact that the final results are so international. 
It is hoped that our festival will bring together 
for the first time in England a number of 
interesting minds to set off a few sparks. 

The screening of some 150 films, including 

12 out of the 31 features ever produced, 
should prove the great flexibility of which 
animation is capable and the very wide variety 
of styles. But eat purpose has also an im» 
mediate practical intention. At this moment, 
the newsreel and specialised cinemas are 
short of good, new animated films. There 
need not be a shortage. European animation 
developed some time ago to standards at 
least equal to those achieved by the United 
States in the theatrical field. The best of the 
Continental films are gradually being shown 
in local cinemas. It is high time that Euro- 
pean cartoons received similar treatment. It 
is hoped that cinema exhibitors, as well as our 
film-maker colleagues and the public, will 
find the contents of the festival interesting, 
entertaining and beneficial. 

Representatives from the seven major 
producing countries will contribute short 
articles to this issue, giving a background of 
the operations and future expec^tions- of 
animation activities in their respective 
countries, in the hope that their information 
will widen the knowledge of our individual 
operations to our mutual benefit. 

The History of the Cinema (Great Britain) 

reat cJOritain 



IN America, most animation \vori< is linked with tiie 
major studios. Tom and Jerry come from the M.G.M. 
studios, Popcyc from Paiamount. Tweety Pie from 
Warners: even tlie U.P.A. unit works under the general 
umbrella of Columbia, whilst Disney's is almost a separate 
major studio in itself. 

In Britain, animation is a family business, operating in 
the style of the medieval craftsmen's guilds. The Units 
tend to stay together in small communities, usually in 
converted houses or tiny offices. Personnel grow up with 
their production companies, often entering the business 
direct from University or Art School. Training is done by 
experience, as the young learn from the old in the day-to-day 
work at the animation tables. There is a struggle to maintain 
continuity of production. Leadership is based on the 
personality of one or two people who often manage the 
whole operation as a kind of family concern, imposing their 
style to a degree which they themselves would scarcely admit, 
for many strive to encoin agc as much individual experiment 
as possible amongst those who work for them. 

The Units are divided into four main categories, hiisl. 
there are the groups who produce sponsored films but, 
because they have been in existence for a long time and have 
estabhshed some measure of independence, are able to 
conduct occasional experiments that lead to theatrical 
distribution, or even to produce films specifically for the 
entertainment market. Halas and Batchelor Productions are 
a Unit of this kind. 

John Halas came to this country before the War. having 
worked in Hungary with George Pal: Joy Batchelor first 
met him in London and shared in the making of animation 
films, both here and in Budapest. They married and now 
operate the company under joint control. Like most British 
Units, they depend on sponsorship of various forms for their 
existence. This comes from three main sources: 

1. Official Bodies. GoYcrnnieni Departmenlx or Inler- 
iiaiional Aiiilioritics. Examples of hims made recently in 
this category include To Your Health, for the World Health 
Organisation : Basic Fleetwork, for the Admiralty ; The Sea, 
for the Ford Foundation; and The Candlemaker, for the 
United Lutheran Church in America. 

2. Sponsorship ihrout^h liuluslry. Recent films include 
Power 10 i'ly, for the British Petroleum Company, and 
Invisible Exchange for Shell. 

3. Direct Advertisments, made now mainly for Com- 
merical Television. Halas and Batchelor made the famous 
Murraymints series, as well as a special series for 


Mr. Fmley'd Feelings, Earth is a Battlefield; 
Brttvic Commercial, The Oas Turbine (Great Britain) 

Using the resources gained over years 
of work in the "bread-and-butter" business, 

Halas and Batchelor have been able to amuse 
themselves (and very large cinema audiences) 
with such pictures as their delightful History 
of the Cinema, which was chosen for the 
Royal Film Performance in 1956. Of a more 
serious character was the feature length 
Animal Farm, a rare example of an attempt 
to use the cartoon film for the interpretation 
of a complicated political satire. The Unit 
that made these films is now ninety strong; 
it is run personally by John Halas and Joy 
Batchelor. both of whom arc active at every 
stage in the making of the films as well as 
handling the com.plicaied business problems 
that arise in sustaining the flow of the spon- 
sorship so^^ential_to_their_i^^ 
t ence.^ The sBapmg'ofspirdling movements 
around little twirls of Nlatyas Sfeiber's clever 
wood-wind orchestrations in well-known tunes 
is characteristic of their work, as well as a 
love of perky, bouncing little men who tackle 
everything from Income Tax forms to oil-well 
di illing with a gay, impertinent but pleasing 

Halas and Batchelor produced the first 
feature-length cartoon in this country (Animal 

Farm), the first stereoscopic experiment in ani- 
mation ( The Owl and tlie Piissyeat ). and the first 
major puppet-animation production (ligure- 
head). Ever since their formation in 1940, they 
have remained completely independent of any 
vfinancial links with other organisations. 

The second type of Unit in Britain is that 
devoted entirely to sponsored work, but 
taking full advantage of the chances ottered 
them by enlightened business concerns to 
experiment. The William Larkins Studio, 
operated by Geoffrey Sumner and Theodore 
Thumwood. was started in 1942 tmder the 
name of Analysis Films. It became part of 
the Film Producer's Guild in 1947 and, as 
Larkins Studio, has since produced about 820 
short animated films. There are seventy 
people in the Unit, which turts Out about 
30,000 feet of final-cut material a year. 
Personnel tends to remain static, and the 
Unit's tradition in training can be gathered 
from the fact that, on a recent prize-winning 
film, the average age of the production team 
was 23. 

Animal Farm (Great Britain) 

As in the case of Halas and Batchelor, 
certain of their films have hroiccn through to 
the theatrical field, although they have not so 
far made films except to order. Men of Merit . 
for example, was shown in some 3,000 cinemas 
in this country alone; 602 copies were printed 
by Technicolor. The studio's style is still, 
perhaps almost unconsciously, influenced by 
the work of Peter Sachs, notably by his 
angular figures, clear-cut lines and sharply- 
defined backgrounds, in which detail is 
reduced to a minimum. Earth is a Battlejield. 
their current production, has a clc\er exten- 
sion of the technique in a series of disjointed, 
cut-out figures which perform to a sound track 
in the rhyming style of Enterprise, an earHer 
film by Peter Sachs. 

The third main type of animation Unit is 
exemplified by Nicholas and Mary Spargo's 
group at Henley-on-Thames. Formed to 
produce material specifically for Commercial 
Television, the Unit now consists of eleven 
people working in a large room over a shop 
in the centre of the town. Following the 
well-established pattern, there are already 
two trainees in the group, working on the 
fifteen, thirty- and fifty-second commercials 
for which the Unit was set up. Because they 
are lively and imaginative, work flows at a 
fast pace; Nicholas Spargo spends much of his 
time on the business side at the moment, while 
his wife is usually to be found in the studio. 
Both gained their experience in the tough 
school of the David Hand Unit at Cookham. 

In addition lo the independent units, 
there are a number of small animation groups 
in Britain attached to certain large organisa- 
tions like the Shell Film Unit. Francis 
Rodker and a small team of specialists have 
been producing excellent diagrams and 
animated sections for the Shell Unit since 
its formation in 1935. Three animation 
cameras are in use, each producing about 
4,000 feet of exposed film a year. 

A Slutrl Visitiit. Doun a Long Way (Great Britain) 

Finally, there are the experimental groups, 
whose status borders between professional 
and amateur. Typical is the case of .loan and 
Peter Foldcs. who produce animated films 
in their own home in Edgware. Peter Foldes, 
like John Halas, came to London from 
Hungary; he met his wife here and they now 
work together on all their films. Animated 
Genesis, their first film, was made on their own 
resources up to picture rough-cut stage. It 
was then shown to the British Film Institute, 
who persuaded Sir Alexander Korda to see it; 
he completed the sound track and gave the 
picture distribution through British Lion. 
A Short Vision, the six-minute story of an 
artist's impression of the world destroyed by 
nuclear fission, was also made as a private 
venture in the beginning; it was completed 
with the help of the British Institute's 
Experimental Production Fund, and later 
shown on .American television. 

The personal quality of British animation 
films dcri\es from the struggle for indepen- 
dence, the imprint of a beneficent sponsorship 
and the style of those w ho founded their own 
groups and continue to run them. The system 
is not without drawbacks. Experiment, 
especially in subject matter, is always subor- 
dinate to the needs of the sponsor. Full 
public screenings are the exception, however 
delicate the advertisement. The Units are 
too busy with their own work to indulge 
in large-scale publicity. They have to contend 
with the fact that the major circuits are, by- 
and-large, completely deaf to their work. 
By contrast many European countries en- 
courage the work of their animation units. 

In spite of these difiiculties, British animated 
films have won many international awards. 
These films arc being used increasingly in the 
United States, both in the cinemas and over 
television. The battle for a screening is being 
won at long last; in every country, except 


Murraymints Commercial, The Owl and the Pussycat (Great Britain) 




AT THE Cannes Film Festival in the spring of 
1956 I overheard a ticket laker remark to a 
puzzled tourist who evidently had tried un- 
successfully to get into the premiere of one of 
the full length feature presentations, "11 y a 
aussi des petites dessins-animes." Judging 
from the tone in which he spoke, half 
condescending, half affectionate, his words 
seemed to imply "tough luck, but as a 
consolation there are some little cartoons to 
be seen if you care to have a look." He was 
referring to the International Festival of 
Animated Films which was taking place al the 
same time in another part of the cinema 
Palais. His attitude was similar to that of the 
general run of movie-goer everywhere. The 
cartoon is usually considered a pleasing 
little hers d'oeuvre to be enjoyed along with 
more substantial fare. That this hors d'oeuvre 
is welcome is apparent in the little murmurs 
of anticipated delight which still rtm through 
most audiences when the faces of Pluto, 
Mickey Mouse or Mr. Magoo come on to the 
screen. It is as though the atidience realizes 
that for a few minutes they will be spared the 
sensational horrors which so often appear 
in the newsreel, or the tired cliches of a third 
rate travelogue. With the cartoon the 
audience can enter into a realm of pure 
fantasy, in which the laws of gravity are non- 
existent, where pain is not pain and where 
characters become symbols or stereotypes, 
not to be taken very seriously. 

The audience which strayed in to see the 
animated films at Cannes (the tickets were 

free) bore little resemblance to the self- 
conscious, publicity hungry international 
set which attended the gala openings of the 
longer features. The cartoons were attended 
by the producers themselves, a motley crew 
from every corner of the earth, and casual 
spectators from the streets, curious and 
unprejudiced. It was interesting to watch 
the reaction of this audience to films which 
ranged all the way from animated folk tales of 
Texas to heavy political propaganda from 
both sides of the iron curtain. The actor who 
drew the most spontaneous outburst of 
laughter was that ageless veteran whose 
career has remained unchanged throughout 
the years, Mr. Donald Duck. His frustration 
in the film which so delighted the audience 
was caused by liis ineffectual efforts to fall 
asleep in spite of a relentless neon light which 
kept flashing off and on, and the insistent 
sound of dripping water from a tap which 
gradually increased in his imagination until 
each drop seemed a bomb visibly shaking the 
whole earth with rhythmic concussions. 
Donald's frustration seemed on that after- 
noon in Cannes to touch a note of under- 
standing which reached across the barriers of 
language and nationality. This particular film 
was. as always with Disney, elaborately' 
animated, no economy tricks employed, no 
corners cut. The sound track with its 
metamorphosis of dripping water to world- 
shaking "booms" was imaginative and ap- 
propriate to the medium. Also, like most 
of Disney's films, it was a sample of the usual 



over-cute style with background drawings 
similar to the easiest kind of commercial 

Tt is impossible to cotisider the animated 

film in the United States without thinking 
first of Disney. After 30 years his name is 
still synonymous with the short cartoon in the 
minds of most of the American movie- 
audience. Sometimes during the long period 
since his first exciting Silly Symphonies 
appeared, the work from his large organisa- 
tion in California seemed to have sunk into 
the doldrirais. Formula replaced invention. 
The medium lost its initial public appeal. 
Disney's excursions into the field of "live 
action" have been sometimes rewarding, 
sometimes disappointing. Some of the wild 
life films have recaptured the excitement of his 
early cartoons, while the romantic historic 
costume pieces have often seemed banal. 
Always a clever showman, he has recently 
built a large fun fair, of amusement park in 
California which serves also as a setting for 
television programme material. When, from 
time to time, a new feature length cartoon 
appears, such as Lady and The Tramp, in 
which the chief characters are dogs, one is 
amazed at the technical slickness of the 
animation and annoyed by the weak story line, 
which seems to be influenced by the wish 
to include every sure-fire box-offi©B trick. 
This approach does not lead to any fresh 
experiments within the medium. 

It was the short film Gerald McBoing- 
Boing which first brought a radical change of 
style to the attention of the public in America 
and soon after to the cinema-goers in Europe. 
This highly orifinal short film, produced by 
U.P.A. Pictures, with inely inte^ted music 
by Gail Kubik and with sophisticated visual 
elements, seemed to satisfy a public at that 
time weary of the Disney formula. The 
talented minds which produced "Gerald" 
had made previous cartoons in which visual 
wit and economical animation had replaced 
the elaborately evolved techniques established 
by the larger studios, but these films had never 
been seen in the theatres. Some of the U.P. A. 
men had worked previously in the Disney 
Studios. The organisation under the leader- 
ship of Stephen Busustow has now expanded 
into the field of television. Robert Cannon, 
one of the most brilliant U.P. A. directors, 
brings a fertile imagination and fresh ap- 
proach to each new film he creates. Another 
director, Pete Burness, who has been with 
the U.P. A. since its early days, has created a 

now popular cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, 
whose blithe innocence and near-sightedness 
leads him unscathed and unconcerned through 
the violence of the modern world. Mr. 
Magoo, hke Donald Duck, has become a 
belowd international persontlity. 

The U.P.A. style, according to their own 
spokesmen, derives from "modern" art. It is 
uncluttered, flat and often linear. The 
characters do not seem bound by any natural 
physical laws of movement. Pcrliaps one of 
the greatest contributions of the U.P.A. is 
thatlhey have shown the public that the less 
realistic a movement is, the more creditable 
it becomes optically. Disney sometimes 
bases the movement of his characters on live 
action models, as with Alice in Alice in 
Wonderland. The greater the clTort to 
imitate realistic movement, the more apt 
one is to be aware of the stroboscopic 
nature of the medium, the more jittery the 
result. If legs are used to express the symbol 
of walking, rather than the imitation of 
walking, the illusion of movement is more 
acceptable, a paradox which indicate the 
validity of the "modern" art approach. Like 
any device this simplification can be carried 
too far. If the human figure becomes loo 
abstract it may lose all its expressive power. 
Usually the U.P.A. figures, moving flatly on a 
flat screen are consistent, humorous and 

Less effective have been certain of the 
U.P.A. attempts to animate the drawings of 
"big name" illustrators, such as Thurber and 
Bemelmans. The Unicorn in tlte Garden and 
Madeline are examples. Since the quality of 
both Thurber's and Bemelmans' drawings 
depends on a subtlety and unevenness of line 
which is impossible to use in the animation 
technique, where every celleloid must have an 
almost mechanical similarity, the flavour of 
the original is lost and the result is far less 
successful than the work of lesser known 
artists, whose training within the film medium 
has taught them its restrictions. 

Nevertheless, the U.P.A. has been a healthy 
influence in the United States. The proof 
that a new style has had its effect on Disney 
and his imitators is seen in their efforts to 
modernise their own productions. Disney 
has released a short history of music called 
Whistle, Toot, Plunk and Boom, which seemed 
to imply that if his studios wished, they too 
could work in the "modern" style. The 
popular M.G.M. films, with incredibly fast 
pacing and surrealist gags, seem also to have 


been influenced by the general trend toward 
simplification and more abstract charac- 

The U.P.A. quite Justly boasts that its 
background painters arc serious modern 
artists, some oF whom exhibit in well known 
galleries and have work in art museums. 
But the real problem of any single individual 
in the United States who wants to use the 
animated film as a creative medium is quite 
different from the problem of the easel 
painter. Film-making has become, although 
not necessarily, a collective undertaking. An 
individual artist, in making a film, must 
face the fact that the essence of animation is 
the creation of an illusion of movement 
synchronised to a composed sound track. 
This requires a certain knowledge of music 
and of choreography of line, form and colour. 
Even if the artist masters these elements, he is 
then confronted with the inescapable fact 
that to produce even a short film involves a 
costliness out of proportion to the creation of 
the other arts. Few individuals are free to 
cope with this dilemma. Norman McLaren, 
in Canada, is the outstanding exception. 
McLaren, since he began, has woi'ked alone, 
or with the single collaboration of a com- 
poser. His experiments are the direct impact 
of his own ideas on to film. No assembly line 
of animators, tracers and pointers ttaaids 
between him and his finished produet, Bwt 
McLaren is subsidised by the Canadian Film 
Board which, in the face of some opposition, 
has had the courage to defend the position 
that McLaren's contribution has brought 
them large dividends in prestige. Surely it is 
accurate to say that the most forward looking 
groups of film-makers owe much to McLaren's 

In the United States a few colleges with 
courses of study in film techniques provide 
the student with equipment and the oppor- 
tunity to experiment. It is loo soon for these 
islattds of isola^ effort to show any tangible 
results on the professional field. Certain 
foundations in the United States have, in the 
past, granted stipends to individuals for 
"creative work in film-making". These 
generous grants made it possible for an 
individual to plan a film, but it is outside of 
their scope to prox ide the vastly greater sum 
of money necessary for production. Few 
of these projects have been realised. Sponsors 
who c/o provide enough money for even a one- 
reeler quite understandably want the film to 
sell their product, no matter whether it be soap, 

To Your Health (Great Britain-U.S.A.) 
Tom and Jerri). Balantine Commercial. 
TV Commercial for a Restaurant (U.S. 

The Lady and the Trump (U.S.A.) 

cancer research or democracy. Which does 
not mean that good films cannot be made on 
these themes. But there is little chance for the 
individual to produce a genuinely experi- 
mental film on his own subject. 

It is difiicult to say what the future of this 
medium in the U.S. will be. At present 
animation is still popular in the entertainment 
fields and in commercial television. Some of 
the most imaginative uses of animation at 
present are in one-minute TV commercials. 
Animation is in demand in those sponsored 
industrial films where a mechanical concept 
can be shown more clearly than it can in live- 
action. Animation is also useful in industrial 
films which try to express abstract ideas or 

Donald Duck, in his better movements, 
still communicates to an international 
audience. It would be interesting to speculate, 
however, as to what animation might have 

been if Disney had not had his enormous 
influence. In the first place, animation 
might not necessarily have been only cartoon. 
The simplest visual element, a dot, or a line, 
can become a dancing symbol and convey an 
idea, an association. These ideas could be 
developed with other means than by con- 
ventional story telling. The film need not 
always be based on a literary concept. It 
could be, for the spectator, an experience 
like seeing dancing, or hearing music. Within 
the medium not only new forms, but new 
ways of expression could be evolved. The 
animated film need not always be a pastische, 
a sequence of gags or a fairy tale. It could 
be a powerful medium. It is condensed and 
potent. Like most potent things, it is better in 
small doses. But in a brief time it can pack a 
terrific punch. In the end its possibilities are 
limited only by the imagination of the film- 



Mr. Magoo Beats the Heat, Madeline (XT.S.A.) 


What Future is there for the Animated Film? 


BETWEEN 1942 and 1953, our production of 
entertainment short and feature-length car- 
toons was relatively flourishing; advertising 
cartoons had not yet attained their present- 
day importance. 

After producing three feature-length films : 
La Bcrsrax et Ic Raiiioiieur (Paul Grimault 
and Andre Sarrut), J cannot r /ntrc'picle and 
Bonjour Paris (Jean image) and a certain 
number of shorts such as Lc Peril So'clal, Le 
Voleur de Paratonnenes (Paul Grimault), 
Le Troubadour de laJoie (Omer Bocquey), Les 
Actualites Romaines (Jacques Remise), Kapok 
(Arcady), Les Aventures du Capitaine Sabord 
(Andr6 Rigal), Les Fables de la Fontaine (Jean 
Image), French cartoon films obtained world- 
wide success and rewards at Film Festivals. 

It should be stressed that the greater part 
of these productions were made under pri- 
mitive working conditions, and their distri- 
bution was never assured. Towards 1953, in 
spite of every effort, nearly all production of 
non-advertising animated films was stopped; 
alone Henri Gruel and Jean Image continued 
their efforts to maintain French production in 
this field. 

Here are the films produced between 1955 
and 1 956 : Le Voyage de Badabou, La Rose et le 
Radis Noir (Henri Gruel), Le Loup et I'Agneau, 
Monsieur Victor or La Machine a rctrouver le 
Temps (Jean Image). 

The constant progress made by advertising 
animated films during the last ten years is 
indisputable. As well as the two largest 
production companies, La Comete and Les 

Cineastes Associes, many producers are 
devoting themselves exclusively to this form 
of the cartoon film. Strong influences of 
"modernism" and "stylisation" are notice- 
able in the latest productions, and it is 
undeniable that on this level the French 
animated cartoon is amongst the best in the 
world, the proof being that our studios work 
not only for France but also steadily for the 
United States, Great Britain, Belgium, and 
other countries. 

It should be noted that outside the tech- 
nique of animated cartoon, France has been 
for some time among the leading countries 
developing three-dimensional puppets, 
through the work of Raik and AlcxeifT. 

Parallel to the advertising film, production 
is also carried out in France on instructional 
films and animated-diagrams; .lean Image's 
studios produced in 1955 the first lO-minute 
instructional film in cartoon form in colour 
for the French Mining Industry called: 
Un Grain de Bon Sens. 

Such is the present position. As for the 
future, I believe that world television offers 
countless openings for animation. Already a 
very large number of advertising films are 
being made for television, it is true that for 
the moment telex ision in France does not use 
advertising, but nearby stations such as 
Luxembourg and Monte Carlo will be needing 
more and more short advertising films. 

The big opportunity offered to us is 
colour television, which is making such a 
briUiant start in America. Short subjects of 


from 7 to 13 minutes will be requiFed for this 
form of entertainment, which will soon be 

introduced to European stations. 

We are well aware of the gi'eat success 
which the work of Walt Disney and U.P.A. 
has obtained on American television, and we 
believe that we have before us imoieMq 
possibilities for nevy forms of artistic eXf r8S- 
sioii stjitable to this new kind of entertain- 

In front of the small television screen, with 
its family audience, a kind of intimacy is 
gi'ow ing up between the artist tilm-maker and 
the spectator. The new factor is that while 
we are in fact addressing millions of spec- 
tators at one time, each one of them must be 
addressed individually: in fact "intimate" 
films must be created for "millions of people". 

In fact, at the moment. French animated 
film producers want nothing more than to 
exploit to the full their intci'national success 
in advertising films. According to the latest 
reports given at the Cannes Festival on the 
subject of advertising films, 27 aniroated films 
were shown by foreign organisations, which 
proves that the animated film (such as 
puppet-films by Alexeiff" and Raik, and car- 
toons by two or three big specialised organisa- 
tions) has reached its greatest level of 
prosperity since its conception in France. 

The principal preoccupation of designers 
and producers of these films is novelty of 
expression, novelty not only in subject 
matter but also on the drawing-board. 
Taking into account all that is being done, one 
wondcis what will be the future of this kind 
of development and whether the advertisers 
who are at present interested in this type of 
publicity will maintain their preference for 
this kind of film. It is a fact, however, that it 
is through cartoons and puppet films that 
advertising can be most efi'ectivein the short- 
est possible time. This affects also Interlude 
transmissions for television as much as adver- 

tising films. A 
great challenge 
is offered to 
artists and 
animated film 
producers to 
find something 

The non- 
advertising and 
non -sponsored 
film can rarely 
survive outside 
the frame-work 
of a state-sub- 
sidised organi- 
sation; the interesting and prospering 
Canadian experiment (National Film Board 
of Canada) shows that a result can be obtained 
on this level within a democracy. 

An experiment is being made in France at 
the moment which aims to band together the 
few remaining independent animated film 
producers — or those wishing to acquire 
independence — to pool, as it were, their work 
in animation. This organisation would aim 
to make experimental films and carry out 
research with the object of finding freshness 
of style and also of technique. 

At the time of writing, nothing definite 
can be said yet about this new scheme, except 
the fact that the idea was first proposed at the 
Animated Film Festival at Cannes where, at 
last, after years of competition and isolation, 
our producers were able to meet, exchange 
ideas, explain their difficulties, and express 
their desire for a solution to their problems. 
It was realised that there is still a future for 
this work in France, where the animated film 
was invented Just over 50 years ago. and that 
following the fine work produced duiing the 
years 1945-50 there is also hope for the 
animated film for both cinema and television. 

La Sergtre et le Ramonevr, Vn Cfratn de Bon Sena, 
Ombrille et Paraplute (France) 




GREAT importance for the development of 

cartoon films in the Soviet Union attaches to 
the Government's decision in 1936 to set up 
in Moscow a special cartoon studio — 
Soyuzmultfilm. This studio brougiu together 
a number of the main groups \vori<ing on 
cartoons in Moscow under the direction of 
veterans of Soviet cartoon-making. 

During the first stage of Soyuzmultfilm's 
development it included groups working 
under the following artists: A. V. Ivanov and 
P. P. Sazonov; O. P. Khodatayeva and the 
sisters Valentina and Zinaida Brumberg; 
I. Ivanov-Vano; D. N. Babichenko; L. A. 
Amalrik; V. I. Polkovnikov; V. G. Suteyev; 
B. P. Dezhkin. Later these were joined by 
artists from Leningrad, M. M. Tsekhanovsky 
and M. S. Pashchenko, and by a representa- 
tive from Armenia. L. K. Atamanov. These 
film-makers remain to this day the basic 
artistic nucleus of the Soyuzmultfilm studio. 

The unification of small, scattered cartoon 
studios into one large studio of ali-Union 
importance did not deprive directors and 

artists of their individuality; on the contrary 
it made possible the development of more 
advanced undertakings from the point of 
view both of artistry and production, and 
set cartoon-making in our country on a new 

The Soyuzmultfilm studio is today the 

biggest studio for the production of cartoon 
films in Europe, not merely in the Soviet 
Union. It is equipped with the latest in 
modern apparatus for new technical processes, 
and has on its staff a large number of artists 
specialising in various branches of cartoon 

The lines along which Soviet cartoon- 
making is developing are extremely varied. 
Political and social satire, film "pamphlets", 
cartoon posters, scientific and educational 
cartoons, fables, fairy-tales (both traditional 
and modern), fantasy, musical comedy — 
these are only a few of the genres in which 
Soviet cartoon-makers are working. But in 
spite of this variety, there is one line of 

development which can be said to be the main 
one in Soviet cartoons, and that is the filming 
of fairy-tales, the world of fantasy and 
caricature. The main audiences for which we 
are working are children of all age-groups. 
The main task the Soyuzmultfilm studio was 
given at its inception was the provision of films 
for children and young people. During the 
thirty years of its existence it has coped 
creditably with this task, and in the course of 
recent years can claim successes of .some 

Children's cartoon films from the Soviet 
Union are well known beyond the bounds 
of our country. Films such as The Little 
Hump- Backed Horse directed by I. Ivanov- 
Vano and Giey Neck directed by L. Amalrik 
and V. Polkovnikov have been shown with 
great success in America as well as in 
Europe. Director Mstislav Pashchenko's 
films Forest Travellers, When the Christmas 
Trees Are Lit, The Disobedient Kitten and 
The Unusual Match have appeared on the 
screens of many countries. 

Equally well known is the work of the 
directors Leonid Amalrik and Vladimir 
Polkovnikov — The High Hill, The Magic Shop, 
The Arrow Flies Into Fairyland and Snowball 
Postman ; and the work of Mikhail Tsekhanov- 
sky, who in recent years has directed The Tale 
of the Fisherman and the Fish, Kashtanka and 
The Frog Princess. The talented director Lev 
Atamanov also has some interesting works to 
his credit — The Yellow Stork, The Crimson 
Flower and, particularly, his Golden Antelope; 
the same can be said of Alexander Ivanov and 
his Rab and Bit. The Painted Fox, Deep In 
the Forest, The Pipe and the Bear, etc. A 
number of Soviet cartoons — Song of Joy, 
The Fox and the Blackbird, The Little Hump- 
Backed Horse, The Seven-fold Flower, Grey 
Neck, The Disobedient Kitten, The Painted 
Fox, The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish, 
The Unusual Match, The Magic Shop, Sarmiko, 
The Gallant Heart, Deep in the Forest, Fire in 
Yaranga etc. — have received first prizes 
and diplomas of honour at international film 


At the present time large numbers of 
Soviet cartoons are being dubbed into the 
languages of Europe, Asia and of a number of 
African countries; they are, in fact, being 
shown today in fifty-nine different countries. 

The central cartoon film studio Soyuzmult- 
film has sixteen full-scale production groups 
engaged on regular planned work. Each 
production group possesses its own character, 
and works in its own particular style. 

Alongside the "old masters" of our art 
there is growing up a new and talented 
generation of cartoon directors and artists; 
for instance, the young director Ivan Aksen- 

chuk, to whom belongs the excellent produc- 
tion The Hazel Wand, based on the Rumanian 
folk-tale of the same name; Yevgeni Raikov- 
sky and Vladimir Degtyarev, who have made 
an interesting film from a Korean folk-tale — 
Pak the Brave: also the talented artist 
Yevgeni Migunov, and others; in the near 
future they will carry on with honour the 
work of the older generation of Soviet 
cartoonists. The ranks of those working in 
cartoon films are reinforced by a planned 
intake of new recruits: in the All-Union 
State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) 
special training is provided for artists who will 
later work in cartoons. All those students 
who have successfully completed these courses 
in the Institute are now working satisfactorily 
at the Soyuzmultfilm and other cartoon 
studios within the Soviet Union. The names 
of former students of the Institute who are 
now talented cartoon artists are well-known 
in the Soviet Union. Apart from this source 
of new workers, the Soyuzmultfilm studio 
itself trains cartoon artists at courses it 
organises independently, and which are 
attended by thirty young artists who passed a 
competitive entrance examination. 

In recent years the masters of cartoon- 
making have come to turn more and more 
often to the best examples of folk art and of 
classical literature for their subjects, and have 
striven to re-create on the screen not only the 
idea and content of such works, but the full 
flavour of their particular artistic form. 
Directors have begun to approach a script, 
regarding it not as an opportunity for the 
production of a spectacle full of tricks and 
transformations, but as the basis for the 
general sense of the film and for its artistic 
character. For this reason a whole series of 
well-known children's authors and script- 
writers have been drawn into work on 
cartoons, and Soviet cartoons have them to 

thank for the ideas behind many of the best 
works produced in the post-war years. 

In Moscow there are a number of special 
children's cinemas which show nothing but 
cartoons. In their repertoire of Soviet 

cartoons for children there are fables, 
Russian folk-talcs and folk-talcs of other 
peoples of the USSR, the classical fairy- 
stories of Pushkin, stories and little tales in 
verse for very small children, lilms about 
sport, musical films and adventure stories. 
At the present time the Soyuzmultfilm studio 
is preparing for release fairy-tales of many 
nations. Hans Andersen's Ugly Duckling, in a 
cartoon version produced by a young director, 
Vladimir Degtyarev, is already being shown. 
So is a full-length film. The Enchanted Boy, 
based on the fantasy by the Swedish authoress 
Selma Lagerlof. This film has a script by 
M. Volpin; the directors are Vladimir 
Polkovnikov and Alexandra Snezhko- 
Blotskaya; artists — Lev Milchin and Grazhina 
Brashishkite. Production of another full- 
length film is now completed — The Twelve 
Months, based on the fairy-tale play by 
Marshak, directed and produced by I. 
Ivanov-Vano. The Brumberg sisters, those 
veterans of cartoon direction, recently 
completed production of an Albanian folk- 
tale, The Helpful Stick. The young director 
Ivan Aksenchuk has made a film from an 
Uzbek tale. The Stork. Vladimir Polkovnikov 
is finishing a screen version of an Indian folk- 
tale, The Young Jackal and the Camel. 
Mikhail Tsekhanovsky is at present working 
on another Indian tale. The Little Girl and the 
Tiger. This film will be ready by the end of 
this year. 

Director Dmitri Babichenko, who recently 
made an interesting three-reel film which was 
well reviewed in the press, A Million in the 

Bag, is now working on a film to be called 
Little Shego, which is based on themes from 
Afghan folk-tales. This production is to be 
completed in November of this year. One 
of the studio's oldest directors, Alexander 
Ivanov, has completed a "comic tale with a 
moral for children" — Trouble in the Wood, 
which relates how the bear ate too much honey 
and then got toothache. (Moral — look after 
your teeth and don't be afraid of the dentist.) 
Two young directors. Yevgeni Raikovsky and 
Boris Stepantscv, have made a film called 
Murzilka's Adventures which is to be the 
first of a series showing the same cartoon 

Director Leonid Amalrik is working on a 


film for small children to be called The Little 
Ship; script is by Vladimir Suteyev. Director 
Pyotr Nosov is completing a film based on a 
Ukrainian foli<-tale. The Pic. Director 
Mstislav Pashciicnko, in collaboration with 
artist Boris Dezhkin, has finished Old 
Acquaintances — this is a comedy of sport, 
in which the audience once again meets the 
same heroes as in The Unusual Match. 
Besides the films already mentioned, there are 
others now in production in the studio based 
on Swedish. Norwegian, Danish. French, 
Italian. Russian. Chinese and Egyptian folk- 
tales. Also in production is a full-length 
screen version of Andersen's The Sium- Queen, 
directed by Lev Atamanov. The Brumberg 
sisters are starting work on a film to be called 
IVishe.f Come True or Zerbinoteau the Solitary. 
This film is based on the French tale by 
E. Labould about the happy wood-cutter 
Zerbinot. Mstisla\' Pashchenko will begin 
work on a four-reel film. Cipolliiio — a screen 
version of the story by the well-known Italian 
writer Gianni Rodari, about the adventures 
of the "onion-boy" Cipollino, a tireless fighter 
for justice who is a favourite with children. 
Director Ivan Aksenchuk is to start work on 
Cicco of Naples in the Magic Forest, the script 
for which is written on themes from a play 
by Gianni Rodari and M. Saratelli called The 
Wishing Plant and from Rodari's poems. The 
general theme of the script is peace, friendship 
and happiness for children over all our planet. 
I. Ivanov-Vano is thinking of work on a film 
based on a Russian folk-tale — At the Pike's 
Bidding — about the poor but cheerful Yemel, 
who is amply rewarded for his wit, kindness 
and hard work. After directing The Little Ship 
Leonid Amalrik will be working on Pussycat's 
House. The script is based on the fairy-tale 
play of the same name by Marshak. The 
young and talented artist Yevgeni Migunov is 
starting work, in collaboration with Arkadi 
Raikin, a well-known variety actor, on 
production of a film-feuilleton to be called A 

Fairy tale for Grown-Ups, which will criticise 
some less worthy aspects of our daily life. 

After the famous productions by Alexander 
Ptushko The New Gulliver and The Golden Key, 
three-dimensional puppet cartoons have 
received a new lease of life: new, young 
artists have taken up work in this genre, as 
has also a famous master of the art, Sergei 
Obraztsov, Artistic Director of the State 
Puppet Theatre; he has just finished produc- 
tion in the Soyuzmultfilm studio of a big 
film called Heavenly Creature. 

Director Vladimir Degtyarev is just finish- 
ing work on a puppet film based on the well- 
known Russian folk-tale Jack Frost. At 
present in production is a puppet cartoon 
called Safe in Port. This is a musical comedy 
film with a contemporary theme; in it are 
ridiculed people who hide inner poverty 
beneath a glossy surface. This film is directed 
by A. Karanovich. Two more satirical f.lms 
are also in production — Three-Course Dinner, 
directed by G. Lomidze, and The Bogy Who 
Couldn't Scare .Anyone, directed by Roman 
Davydov. The output of cartoon and puppet 
films in the Soviet Union is increasing greatly 
from year to year. Apart from the Soyuz- 
multfilm studio cartoon production has been 
started once again at the Tbilisi Film Studio. 
Production of scientific and educational 
cartoons is widely developed in the Soviet 
Union; this form of cartoon-making is 
mainly concentrated in the popular science 
film studios of Moscow, Leningrad, Sverd- 
lovsk, Kiev and other cities. Cartoon 
technique is widely employed in documentary 
and news-reel studios too, particularly at the 
Central News-reel Studio in Moscow. 

A whole series of higher educational 
institutions of the Soviet Union — Moscow 
University, the Moscow Aviation Institute 
etc. — also various scientific research centres, 
ha\c their own cartoon studios and labora- 
tories producing scientific and teaching 
cartoon films. 

The Unusual Match, The Vivii j:,ar (U.S.S.R.) 



GUY L, COTE, Montreal 

THE story of the animated film in Canada 
largely centres aroimd tiie vvori< accomplished 
at the National Film Board, the official 
government film agency established in 1940 
by John Grierson to "interpret Canada to 
Canadians and to other nations". Under the 
direction first of Norman McLaren, then of 
Jim Mackay and now of Colin Low, the 
animation department of the N.F.B. has 
grown from a tiny nucleus of workers in 1941 
to a thriving unit of some fourteen animation 
artists. During that time, over 75 short films 
have been produced, not including special 
animation sequences made for the Board's 
documentary productions. 

Diversity has been one of the characteristics 
of the department's work, both in the multi- 
tude of purposes for which its films have been 
executed as well as in the variety of animation 
techniques that have been employed, from 
paper cut-outs to three-dimensional puppets, 

from simple drawings on translucent paper to 
complex cell films. The department works in 
small tmits, whose members arc engaged in 
one or two particular projects over long 
periods of time, each drawing their own story 
board, designing the backgrounds, working 
out the animation, editing the picture and 
supervising the sound recording — in fact, the 
artists have the opportunity of following the 
creation of their film through all its stages. 
Thus, each member of Canada's animation 
department has experimented with most of 
the standard methods now employed in the 
industry and each in his own way has evol- 
ved fresh approaches to the technical and 
artistic problems of film production. 

Early in the Board's history, it was decided 
to produce a series of animated films illustra- 
tingCanadian folksongsof French and English 
origin. Of these, the Chants Populaii es arc per- 
haps the most familiar to European audiences. 

The Romance of Transportation (Canada) 

Cadet Rousselle, also, was a spirited version of the old 
French balhid in which George Dunning and Colin Low 
utilised to good effect the technique of metal cut-outs. 
Dunning (who is now at the London office of U.P. A.) and 
Jim Mackay (who works independently in Toronto) are 
two well-known Canadian animation artists who have 
since set up their own production units: their early 
N.F.B. films — Grim Pastures and Three Blind Mice 
(Dunning), Teeth are to Keep and Stanley Takes a Trip 
(Mackay) — remain excellent examples of ingenuity, style 
and conciseness in educational films. In later years, 
artists such as Wolf Koenig. Robert Vcrrall. Grant Munro 
and Sydney Goldsmith were to collaborate on equally 
imaginative though more highly polished productions: 
The Romance of Transportation (which won the British 
Film Academy award in 1953), Riches of the Earth and 
Huff and Puff', to name a few. Colin Low, the present 
director of the unit, has not only distinguished himself 
in the field of animated films {Cliallen(;c' : Science vs. 
Cancer) but is also a sensitive director of documentaries 
{Corral, Gold), an occupation which he feels gives him 
perspective and useful stimulation in his animation work. 
Now installed in its new quarters in Montreal, the unit 
is currently working on two ambitious projects about 
astronomy and architecture, as well as on numerous 
sponsored films for government departments. 

It is true to say. however, that the work of Norman 
McLaren has somewhat overshadowed that of his 
Canadian colleagues. His unique position at the Board, 
which enables him to follow the byways of his fancy, has 
earned for him the international reputation of being a 
tireless experimenter. His pyrotechnical "doodles"; 
as his friends sometimes refer to them, always seem to 
bring something new and unexpected to the screen. 
From his early beginnings at the Glasgow School of 
Fine Arts, McLaren has looked upon the business of 
picture making as a real adventure, inventing his own 
tools and dispensing with most of the paraphernalia that 
surrounds conventional productions, including cameras 
and sound recording apparatus. For many years, he has 
been helped by Miss Evelyn Lambart, who has been 
closely associated with a number of his films. For others, 
he has worked alone, tirelessly, the twentieth-century 
equivalent to a fifteenth-century miniatiuMst, often 
drawing his images by hand directly on to 35 mm. film — • 
frame by frame — controlling by the subtleties of his 
brush stroke the life of those magic shadows which spring 
out of his personal world of poetry and fantasy. 

There is little doubt that his short abstractions such 
as Begone Dull Care and Blinkity Blank (which won the 
British Film Academy Award in 1956) often surprise and 
delight an unsuspecting audience; nor can one deny 
thai the message of Neighbours, the unfettered 
espicglerie of Rhyihmetic, or even the simple gentleness 
of La Poulette Grise, can hold and fascinate a spectator 
by the novelty of the invention, the carefree humour 
and the depth of observation which these films so 


B linkity-^Jlank (Canada) 

abundantly display. McLaren's work has 
gained a succes d'estime which the com- 
mercial exhibitors — had they somewhat more 
initiative and daring— could readily transform 
into a larger public acclaim. What is possibly 
not so readily appreciated, however, is the 
very great contribution which McLaren has 
made to the aesthetics of the cinema, and 
more particularly of the animation tilm. For, 
in his own way, he has once again restated 
the importance of the cinema's very funda-^ 
mentals: motion and picture, in the early 
^l54S's, at a time when the naturalistic 
cartoon was in its heyday, McLaren was 
already instinctively asserting by his work 
that the future of the animated film did not 
reside in clever imitations of a sentimentalised 
reality. Stripping the film to its baied, trans- 
parent celluloid. McLaren dared to re- 
investigate the powers of cinematic movement, 
of visual and aural counterpoint, of intermit- 
tent animation, of impressionistic clusters, of 
overlapping dissolves, inventing his own 
soimds, destroying the rectangular visual frame 
itself by the very act of drawing a single brush 
stroke across a succession of time-images. 

"Animation is not the art of drawings- 
that-move, but th^ grt of movements-that-are- 
drawn" "'^w/ritfgn McLaren. "What 
happens between each frame is much more 
important than what exists on each frame. 
Animation is therefore the art of manipulat- 
ing the invisible interstices that lie between 
frames." Thus a uniquely dedicated film- 
artist explains what he constantly reminds us 
of in his work, from the charming C'est 
Uaviron to the ethereal movements of 
NowJsJUte-fime and the brilliant simplicitjrof 
Het j - jMop r The road in which he is engaged 
is a narrow one — ^few, if any, had they a pen, a 
razor blade, a chalk pencil or a pair of 
scissors, could hope to follow him or build 
on his inventions. But McLaren's message is 
clear and universal: through the most 
abstract of his doodles, the most well-timed 
of his movements, the most riotous of his 
colour fantasies, McLaren tells us that the 
world of the animated film is far from fully 
explored* and that those invi s ible mtO Ea 
between— frames-Still have many se 



ONE of the pioneers of tlie puppet film was a 
Pole — Wladyslaw Starewiez. who worked in 
France. Although animation was developed 
to a minor extent in Poland itself before the 
War by such film-makers as Franciszka and 
Stefan Themerson, it was the post-war work of 
Potecki and Wasilewski which established 
contemporary Polish puppet and, later, cartoon 
films. In this article. W'lodzimierz Haupe. film 
director and Chairman of the .Artistic Council 
of Animated Films in Poland, discusses the 
problem of organising special animation studios 
and developing cartoon and puppet films as 
works of art. 

In Poland we now have two centres 
producing animated films. They are: the 
Puppet Film Studio in Tuszyn near Lodz, and 
the Cartoon Film Studio in Bielsko. A third 
studio is being set up in Warsaw; it will 
produce both puppet and cartoon films. In 
these studios many film-makers are working; 
the work of some of them is already known to 
audiences at the Cannes, Venice, Edinburgh 

and Karlovy Vary Festivals, but there are also 
some younger film-makers who are busy 
developing their technique. Of the senior 
puppet film-makers I should mention Zenon 
Wasilewski (The Dragon of Cracow), Wlodzi- 
mierz Haupe and Halina Bielinska (Laurence's 
Orchard, Circus Under the Stars and The Moon's 
Story), and of the younger generation 
Teresa Badzian (The Unconunon Journey and 
The New House) and Edward Sturlis (The 
Dirty Boy and Adventures of the Hoily-Toity 
Knight): and for cartoon films: Lechoslaw 
Marszalek (Stubborn Little Goat and Mrs. 
Twardowska), Wladyslaw Nehrebecki (The 
Woodpecker Told the Owl and Professor 
Filutek in the Park), and Waclaw Wajzer (Tale 
of Siskins and The Land of King Eel). 

I have only mentioned above the titles of 
such Polish animated films that are, or could 
be, known to European audiences. But to be 
exact 1 should add that the film-makers 1 have 
named have produced about fifty films, 
inclusive of those that are in preparation. 


This is little enough, considering 
it represents the results of a pro- 
duction period extending over ten 
years. But one must take into 
account that a great deal of time 
has been needed during these 
years in experiment. The existing 
animation studios have only 
recently been organised in their 
present form, and can produce 
now about 10 animated films a 
year. In the future, the output 
should rise from 30 to about 60 
films annually. The makers of 
animated films have the working 
conditions necessary for regular 
production, and the chance to 
develop individual artistry. They 
have established their own Artistic 
Council where they can freely 
exchange their views. These dis- 
cussions enable the more ex- 
perienced to test their views 
against those of the others, and so 
confirm that their artistic line is 
the right one, and for the less 
experienced the discussions are of 
help in the development of their 
artistic individuality. 

In this work there are two main 
problems: first, unit organisation 
and, second, the strictly creative 
problem. Unit organisation de- 
pends on the difficulty of main- 
taining the artistic individuality 
of each creative film-maker, as all 
of them have to use the same tgam *" <■ 
of assistants. Between the ojigv- 
1. nating film-makers and ttieir 
^nished fitm stands a considerable 
number of people. In the cartoon 
film they are animators, in- 
betweeners, tracers, painters; in 
the puppet film setting-designers, 
doll-makers, animators, 
costumers, assistants, and so on. 
This team of people, having ended 
work under one director, have to 
begin to work with another, whose 
method of work and plastic style 
are quite different. The difficulty 
is that the team is scarcely able 
to change immediately from one 
style to another and so develops 
a style of its own, derived from 
that of the individual directors. 

Katarynka, Professor FUutek's Duel, 
t^alurynka (Poland) 

Thus the artistic individuality of each director 
is lost. This is why. instead of continuing 
to use the same unit for ail directors, a method 
of separate teams for each indi\ idual director 
has been developed. This preserves artistic 
individuality, but on the other hand makes the 
organisation of production more difficult. 
The directors claim now that it would be 
better to retain individual creative teams 
consisting of the director, cameraman, 
scenographer. animators and assistants, btil 
that the executive studio siiould remain 
common to them all. This should offer a 
unified production-line common to the whole 
studio. In the immediate future some solution 
to this question must be found. 

The matter I referred to as the "creative 

problem" concerns the direction in which the 
animated film should develop. First of all 
I should mention the advertising film. In 
Poland this kind of production does not yet 
exist. Sometimes an occasional advertising 
film appears, but these do not represent 
any standard form of production. The very 
few foreign advertising films that we have seen 
were on a low level, and this has had a 
restraining influence on the de\clopment of 
this branch of production at home. 

So in principle, there exists in Poland only 
the artistic animated film, unrelated to any 
didactic purpose. I have already stressed that 

up to now our puppet and cartoon films have 
appeared only in a standard technical form. 
We lack any experimental search for some 
other less determined form of animation. I 
mean such experiments as those of Norman 
McLaren, Alexeiflf and others. This does 
not mean that we have done nothing at all. 
We regard the animated film not only as a 
means of telling stories in recognisable forms, 
but also as a means of developing shapes, 
colours, sounds and all other artistic elements 
which can arouse subtle artistic responses in 
the audiences. 

Nevertheless, we must not forget the people 
to whom our work is addressed. It is difficult 
to offer complicated artistic forms to an 

audience unprepared for them b\ a gradual 
process of breaking in. Personally. 1 admit 
that 1 am working first for the audience and 
then for myself I may be wrong, but 1 only 
want to explain why Polish animation has 
developed primarily in the direction of 

entertainment only. But there exist many 
different subjects for films at the moment. 
Further, the lines of artistic interest of the 
individual creative directors are essentially 
established. They do not search for subjects 
blindly, and they do not make finding a good 
script dependent on chance. For example, we 
can find in our production folk tales, short 
stories, adaptation of episodes from classical 
literature, satirical caricatures and, finally, 
more experimental attempts to depart from 
the norma! pattern of animation in the 
direction of formal conception. 

One of the important problems connected 
with the further development of our produc- 
tion is the lack of professional film criticism of 
animated films. Film critics are always apt 
to hold the opinion that the animated 
film is something still clinging to the fair- 
ground. 1 am not referring here merely to 
Poland. The talks T had with the French 
critic. Andre Martin, an enthusiast for the 
animated film, prove that the absence of this 
branch of film criticism is not confined to 
Poland. This is an astonishing fact. Our 
international achievements in every kind of 
animation were denionstrated at the last 
Cannes Festival and were a proof of how 
greatly the animated film has developed in 
recent years its capacity to offer audiences 
hitherto unknown aitistic enjoyment and 
responses. But the absence of proper criticism 
and appreciation has a disintegrating effect 
on the creators of animated films, and you 
often hear that some of them — even those with 
established reputations — abandon puppet or 
cartoon film-making to take up other kinds of 
film art. The position in Poland is better in 
this respect because animated films are very 
popular with our audiences, but in general 
this problen") exists and it is wrong not to feel 
concerned about the problems of colleagues 
with whom we feel linked very closely. 

Under such conditions the question whether 
animated films can be counted seriously as art 
or have only a future in advertising (which 
does not exclude its own artistic values) is not 
a foolish query. The teething troubles of the 
animated film, which e\en after fifty years is 
still the cinema's big child, can be cured only 
by the creative film-makers ihemsehes. 

1 would like to express my profound 
belief that the animated film is really a great 
art form. 





FOR the uninitiated observer from abroad, 
the last year was a barren one for Czecho- 
slo\;ik puppeteers and cartoonists. One 
might perhaps even speak of a certain stag- 
nation in the creative work of the Czecho- 
slovak puppet and cartoon film-makes. 
Even Jiri Trnka, the most talented of artists in 
this special field was unproductive for a while 
after finishing his not too successful film in 
three parts, The Good Soldier Schneik, 
because he needed to become familiar with 
the new technique — the use of the wide 
screen. Those who love the Czechoslovak 
puppet films remember longingly the time 
when from Trnka's unit there issued one 
weird and wonderful puppet film after 
another ! 

Not even Trnka's colleagues and com- 
petitors, Hermina Tyrlova and Karel Zeman 
of the puppet studio in Gottwaldov, made 
any otitstanding films this year. During the 
making of the fairy tale puppet film Goldilocks, 
Hermina Tyrlova attempted a dramatic style 
which was essentially foreign to her lyrical 
talent. And Karel Zeman, after his out- 
standing feature-length film Journey to 
Primaeval Times (shown at the Edinburgh 
Festival in 1955), only produced a light and 
amusing fragment Mr. Prokouk, a kind of 
intermezzo in his work. 

That perhaps is the right word — intermezzo. 
The past year was an intermezzo in the work 
of the Czechoslovak puppeteers and car- 
toonists. It was not a period of stagnation, 
but rather a temporary pause during which to 
gather forces, a time of search for new 
media and new materials. But at the same 
time during this period in which masters of 

0- ^ V^v-- 

Goldilocks (Czechoslovakia) 

the art of animation were discovering a new 
path, a number of new talents appeared on the 
scene. To start with, Bretislav Pojar, the 
most talented of Trnka's pupils (his film 
A Drop Too Much which received a mention 
two years ago at Cannes introduced him to the 
film public) has made a short and amusing 
detective film called Spejbl on the Scent, the 
heroes of which are the two well-known 
puppets of the .losef Skupa theatre company. 
Pojar is now working on two further short 
films The Lion and the Ditty and The Puppet 
Review. His colleague, Stanislav Latal, has 
made use of two other well-known figures in 
puppetry in a fairy tale for children called 
Kinasek and Kiitilka at the Fair. He has 
heightened the miming potentialities of the 
puppets by making use of animation in stages 
(stop-frame). Milos Makovec. a director of 
feature films, has made his debut in puppet 
films with The Lost Sentry shot on the basis 


of a popular skii from past times. (It gained a 
"mention" this year at Venice). Two of 
Zeman's pupils, Zdenek Rozkopal, the 
artist, and Arnost Kupciii, the animator, 
have made a popular science trick film called 
Black Diamond which deals with the story of 
the origin of coal in the earth. 

But let us return to the masters of puppetry. 
They too have been active during the past 
year or so, although the results of this 
activity must be judged in the future. Trnka 
has definitely decided to adapt Shakespeare's 
Midsummer Night's Dream into the medium 
of the puppet film. For the present he has 
produced a script complete with drawmgs 
and sketches, and he is also doing something 
which makes him the envy of any feature 
film producer — he is creating the actors for 
the puppet film. As to his plans, we can only 
tell you this much, that Midsummer Nighfs 
Dream will be presented in puppet panto- 
mime style. 

Hermina Tyrlova is working on a fairy tale 
about toys come to life, called The Fairy 
Tale about a Naughty Ball, which lells how a 
little ball that would not listen to Grand- 
father's warning vvas deceived by an evil kite. 
Her next film will be Kalamajka, a puppet 
dance suite based on Moravian national 

Karel Zeman, after many experiments in 
the most various subjects, has found the one 
most suited to him in science fiction, and he is 
preparing a film which is being awaited 
eagerly based on Jules Verne's The Discovery 
of Destruction (Face au Drapeau). Zeman 
intends to produce this film as a composite 
trick film (with puppets, animated cartoon 
and live actors) in the style of the original 
illustrations to Jules Verne's novel. His aim 
is to reproduce as faithfully as possible the 
atmosphere and colouring of Jules Verne's 
period, which is dear to young people. 

The situation in cartoon films is similar 
to that of the puppet film. Eduard Hofman, 
whose Doggie and Pussy (based on the fairy 
story by Josef Capek, the painter and writer— 
the brother of Karel Capek, the author of 

The Creation of the World (Czechoslovakia) 

R.U.R.) SO delighted audiences of children, 
has found in France a new theme and artistic 
inspiration for his current film in the work 
of the cartoonist Jean Eff'el; he is making a 
cartoon series in three parts of Effel's The 
Creation of the World. The first part is almost 
finished, and the two further parts about the 
creation of Adam and Adam's union with 
Eve are in preparation. It is worth noting 
that the commentary in verse and the dialogue 
belonging to all the characters will be spoken 
by the comedian Jan Werich, whom filmgoers 
may remember from his dual star role in the 
film The Emperor's Baker. 

Of the other cartoonists, who have recently 
concentrated pcriiaps almost too much on the 
production of advertising films, the only work 
worthy of attention is the medium-length film 
The Devil and Kate, directed by Vaclav 
Bedrich (who made Boil, Little Pot, which 
gained a "mention" in Venice), in which 
use has been made of a national fairy tale in 
the traditional Czech style, the drawings of 
which are the work of the artist, Josef Lada. 

For the smaller children a short film called 
How the Mole Earned his Trousers will be 
finished by the end of this year. This is a 
modern fairy tale which explains how flax 
is cultivated, processed and used. By setting 
the action in the animal world (which in itself 
catches the attention of a young audience) 
and by introducing humour and wit, Zdenek 
Miler, the director, has avoided giving an 
impression of giving instruction. 

On the whole, we think the outlook for the 
Czechoslovak cartoon and puppet film is a 
satisfactory one. 

Song of the Prairie. Svejbl on the Scent (Czfichoslo vakia) 


LONDON, 1957 

THE first International Animated Film Festival in Great Britain is taking place at the National 
Film Theatre, South Bank, London, from 23rd February to 8th March, 1957. 

The aims of the Festival are to demonstrate the contribution of animated films to the 
cinema during the past sixty years and to present the international development of this medium. 

Productions from the following countries are being shown: 



















A wide range of techniques is being demonstrated, from fluid celluloid animation to stop 
motion puppet animation, from silhouette to stereoscopic films and from abstracts painted 
directly on to film to films about paintings. 

The entries fall into distinct categories, according to their content. Each day a different aspect 
of animation is featured, such as the comic, poetic, satirical, lyrical, dramatic and caricature 

cartoon, as well as puppets. 

The daily programmes comprise one feature and five or six short supporting cartoons' 
Among the features is the French "La Berg^re et le Ramoneur", the Russian "Golden Antelope"' 
the Italian "Rose of Baghdad", "Animal Farm" and at least three American full-length films- 
Some of the latest short cartoons from Europe and the U.S.A. are being shown for the first 
time in this country, including the works of Henri Gruel and Tarcaly (France) and Imre Nemeth 

An exhibition of original celluloids and backgrounds is to be arranged in the entrance hall 

of the Festival Cinema. 



The Focal Encylopaedia of Photography. The Focal 
Press, £5.5.0d. 

For a review to do real justice to a magnum opus 
constructed on the scale that iliis one is, it sliould 
really be written by a team of experts; experts who 
would be the counterparts of the editorial team of ten, 
the fifty specialist consultants and the 197 authors 
from twenty-three countries who together were 
responsible for the two thousand articles which make 
up this new photographic encyclopedia. I am 
slightly encouraged, ho\\o\or, by the thought of the 
reviewer who, singlehandcd. tackled the Encyclopa;dia 

The scope and aims of the Encyclopiedia of Photo- 
graphy are set out at the beginning in the publisher's 
preface, "The subject of this encyclopaedia," it says, 
"is the realm of photography — ^its technique, its art 
and its business. Adjoining and related technologies 
. . . arc covered in ample detail." And even the most 
casual look through this huge book — it runs to over 
l,.^0() pages of text — suggests that the editors and their 
collaborators ha\e achieved what they set out to do 
impressively, and in the style one has come to expect 
of the Focal Press; i.e., technical subject matter dealt 
with in straightforward jargon-frce English, and well- 
chosen and designed illustrations to illuminate the 
text. Incidentally, it has been ten years in the making 
and has grown three-fold on the original design. 

Contributions have been sought from all over the 
world; the impressive list of authors and consultants 
from the Commonwealth, U.S. A . U.S.S.R.. China 
and most of the European countries bear testimony to 
this, and it is good to see the names of so many mem- 
bers of the British Film Academy in the list. Roger 
Manvell and Denis Forman, for example, have been 
responsible for the entries on the B.F.A. and the B.F.I, 
respectively. I. D. Wratten has acted as consultant on 
Cinematography, and R. .1. Spotliswoode, W. Sus- 
chitsky, and Howard Cricks are among the other 
Academy members contributing. 

It is quite impossible in the space at my disposal to 
give any adequate idea of the scope and range of the 
entries. One can hint at it by picking out at random a 
few names of international experts like Rudolph 
Arnheim, Charles Brown, Harold Edgerton, Max 
Factor .Ir., Dr. G. B. Harrison, who have contributed 
articles on subjects lying in their spheres. Probably 
the best way to get a bird's-eye \ ievv of the vast field 
covered by the encyclopaedia is to look at the Synopsis 
of Subject Divisions where all the related major 
entries are brought together under subject headings. 
This also makes it an indispensable aid to anyone 
wishing to follow up a particular line of study or 

For instance, I decided to make Cinematography my 
research project and my sampling dip into the en- 
cyclopaedia. Under this heading in the synopsis all the 
entries dealing w ith the subject were grouped under two 
sub-headings. General and Special Aspects in the 
followmg manner: Under General: Cinematography — 
Cine Terms — Cine Films (substandard) — Perforations 
— magazine — spool — cine film processini; — Cine labora- 
tories — splicing — Projection principles — Cine history. 
Under Special Aspects: Hidi Speed Cinenuiiography — 
Electroplane camera— Eye camera - Time Lapse Photo- 
graphy— Sound Recording — Three Dimensional Pro- 
jection- -Cinenui Stills. 

When assessing this section, I bore in mind first 
that, as far as this encyclopaedia was concerned, cine- 
matography is "an adjoining and related technology" 

and, secondly, again quoting the publishers, "any 
encyclopaedia is mostly used for tracking down 
information on subjects with which the reader is not 
particularly familiar. No specialist is likely to seek 
information within his own field of work from a 
general reference book." Within this frame of 
reference 1 consider the subject has been thoroughly 

Though 1 read through all the articles I can only 
make detailed references to a few of the main ones. 
The general article on Cinematography, the joint effort 
of Julien Caunter and G. H. Sewell, succeeds more than 
adequately in squeezing a hogshead into a pint pot. 
I did feel though that both in the illustrations and in 
the bibliography there seemed an undue emphasis on 
sub-standard practice. The glossary of Cine Terms 
compiled by Tony Rose provides clear and concise 
definitions of most of the technical expressions in 
frequent use. Cine History by Brian Coe of the Kodak 
Research Laboratories is in my opinion absolutely 
first class — though I wonder if I might dare to 
challenge him on one small point and suggest, 
writing entirely from fnemory, that La Cucuracha and 
not Tlowers and Trees was the first three-colour 
Technicolor picture to be shown? 

You realise, reading this article, how long ago all 
these new gimmicks that have appeared in the last 
few years were first thought of. For instance, 
"Cineorama", a process using 10 projectors to throw 
a 360° picture on the walls of a circular building was 
patented in 1897. (Apparently the main reason why 
it never came into use was the difficulty of cooling a 
small projection room housing ten arc-projectors!) 
And in 1900 Louis Lumiere using 75 mm. film was 
showing pictures on a 65 foot screen to audiences at an 
exhibition. A British patent of 1898 outlined the 
principles of stereo-cinematography by both anaglyph 
and polarising methods. 

In conjunction with Brian Coe's article one should 
also read the one on Chronophotography which 
describes the investigations by Muybridge and Marey 
into human and animal motion. 

Among the articles dealing with Special Aspects I 
should like to mention for their general excellence 
High Speed Cinematography by G. T. Schwartz, Time 
Lapse Photography by R. McV. Weston. 3 D-Projection 
by Howard Cricks — though there is no mention in the 
bibliography attached to this article of the books by 
the Spottiswoode brothers, Clyne, Dudley, etc. 
Projection Principles by G. H. Cook of Taylor, 
Taylor & Hobson, apart from its own merits, is as 
good an example as any of the very thorough cross- 
referencing which runs all through the encyclopiedia. 

Returning to consideration of the work as a whole, 
a word must be said about the illustrations: the 
diagrams, always a feature of Focal Press books, are 
excellent and have been used gcnerotisly to point the 
examplations given in the text. In addition some 
400 beautifully reproduced photographs "serve a 
twofold purpose. In some cases ... to clarify 
technical points . . . more often, however, they are 
meant to exemplify the range and variety of expression 
of which the photographic medium is capable." 

Finally, this is by no means a cheap book, but when 
you remember that it is a whole photographic 
reference library in one volume, it is good value for the 

Everyone associated with the Encyclopaedia of 
Photography can be justifiably proud of a fine 
project finely carried out. 



m BuiTisfi FILM k:mm 

THE BRITISH FILM ACADEMY was founded in 1947 by a number of leadmg British 
jSlm-makers to advance the art and technique of film-making by . discussioq 
and research and to encourage the exchange of ideas between creative film- 
makers both at home and abroad. Its present membership numbers some 400 
senior British film-makers. The present activities of the Academy include: 

"jHf the organisation of weekly discussion meetings and screenings 
for its Members and Associates during a nincrmonth season each 

tAc the presentation of Annual Awards, seven for the best films of tfie 
year, British and fordgn, imd five for acting performances; 

the preparation of books and other publications concerned with 
the history and technique of film-making, and with the iexpression 
of the British film-makers' point of view about the medium in 
which they work; 

the development of contacts at home and abroad between British 
and foreign film-makers, and the encouragement of further 
interest in the best in British production through lectures and 
broadcasts in Britain and overseas, and through the Academy's 
books and publications; 

<]jkr the collection and preservation of film-scripts, documents and 
other information relating to British films and fihn-makefs. 



J. Arthur Rank Organisation, Ltd. Ealing Studios, Ltd. Associated 

British Picture Corporation, Ltd. London Film Productions, Ltd: 

Technicolor,- Ltd. Kodak, Ltd. Monty Berman, Ltd: B; J. Simmons & Cb; 
(1941:) ;Ltd. Anvil Films, Ltd. Halas and Batchelor Cartoon Films, Ltdr 
u. Mole-Richardson (England) Ltd.' " " 

' Other Supporters include : 

Shell' Petroleum Company, Ltd. British Lion Films ^Ltd. 

National Screen Service, Ltd. Kinematograph Renters Society, Ltd. 

: " The British Petroleum Company, Ltd. 


^ ' • '* ■ - Chairman: EDGAR ANS I'HY ' • ■ ' • 

' ' ^ Vice-chairmen: JOHN BRYAN IAN DALRYMPLE 

Hon. Anthony Asquith 
Sir Michael Balcon . 
Vincent Korda 
David Lean, C.B.E. 

Sic'Michael Balcoh 
Ken Cameron, O.B.E. 
■ Henry Cornelius 
.Charles Crichton ;-: 

Vivien Leigh 

Sir Laurence Olivier . ... 
George Pearson, O.B.E. 
Michael Powell 

Sir Carol Reed 
^ Albert Smith 
•Basil WrJght 


Mary Field, O.B.E. . _ James Lawrie 

George.Gunn • . • ; - Muif Mathieson, O.B.E. 

Guy Hamilton ■'r- Peter Tanner 

Frank Launder ■ : Michael Truman 

D//-«c/or.- Roger Mahvell, Ph.D. - .- 
Executive Secretary: Mrs. T. J. Stede ■ „ 

Honorary Publicity Officers: Vivienne Knight and Theo Cowan 

Watford Printers Ltd., Vicarage Road, Watford (Phone 2757 & 3885)